The environment and the way we protect, manage and use it is multi-faceted. So too are the laws that apply to it.
Environmental law can be complex, but with the right advice it doesn’t need to be.
Our environmental law specialists will help you navigate the regulatory framework to achieve your desired outcomes.
Local Government and Regulation
For all but one year of Govett Quilliam's 130 year existence, we have provided legal services to local authorities.
The experience we have gained has given GQ a unique and specialised knowledge of local government law.
Our resource management specialists have significant experience and expertise advising and representing clients in all aspects of resource management law.
We advise a variety of clients, including property developers, community groups, individuals and local authorities on all Resource Management Act 1991 processes, from consent applications and plan changes, through to representing clients in mediation, Council hearings and Environment Court appeals, and Board of Inquiry processes.
NPDC’s award winning e-plan – a true professional partnership. We made the decision to modernise our district plan, which meant a complete rebuild. Therefore getting front end legal input that understood our vision from the outset was crucial. Lauren and GQ have worked alongside us all the way, helping us to develop the vision, the strategic framework, structure, style and content of our plan. What stood out for me was their collaborative approach and their desire to understand our vision and objective to embrace the technological platform we were building. This has helped us deliver a plan that is not just digital, but ultimately more accessible to the community and one that translates their aspirations into clear and simple planning provisions
Lauren responded promptly to our request and provided strong support throughout the process we engaged her for. Beyond factual and legal advice, she also offered valuable strategic advice. We felt she always had our best interests in mind, and the result was a positive outcome to the situation we found ourselves in.
Lauren and her team skillfully guided us through the preparation of the material required for the Notified Marine and Discharge Consent processes. They assisted with the preparation of evidence, managed conferencing with experts, submitters and the EPA and provided guidance, leadership and oversight for the Board of Inquiry hearing process. Lauren’s expertise with the EEZ Act, her familiarity with the processes to be undertaken and her skills and experience as legal counsel in a hearing process ensured that Tamarind achieved the outcome that we had aimed for. We would have no hesitation in engaging Lauren and her team again in the future.
Our Environment and Planning Specialists
Lauren joined Govett Quilliam in 2006 and became a partner in 2010. Lauren leads our Environment and Planning Team. She has previously worked as a barrister in a specialist environmental law chambers in Auckland and also for a leading local government firm in Nelson.
Lauren is a highly respected lawyer, specialising in environmental and local government law, construction law and civil litigation.
Lauren has been involved in a variety of environmental and local government matters throughout her career. She has a broad client base and acts for local and regional authorities, individuals and families, national corporations, local businesses, iwi and PSGE, and community organisations. Her key areas of practice include:
assisting to draft and provide advice on district and regional plan provisions;
project management of resource consent projects, including; with respect to large residential and coastal subdivisions; commercial developments and industrial facilities;
minerals and petroleum development, including assisting to obtain consents for offshore installations in the coastal marine area and EEZ and with respect to access arrangements and iwi consultation;
acting for affected parties in opposition to consent applications;
advising on all aspects of the Resource Management Act and Local Government Acts;
assisting iwi to develop environmental plans, strategies and guidelines;
assisting developer clients to formulate and implement consultation strategies;
appearances and advice with respect to Council Hearings, Environment Court, High Court and Board of Inquiry processes;
prosecution and enforcement; and
- assisting to draft and providing advice on local government policies and bylaws, including; Local Alcohol Policies, Gambling Policies and Development Contribution Policies
Lauren also regularly acts for our construction clients and has considerable experience in building law and with respect to construction contract disputes and weathertight homes claims.
Lauren’s civil litigation experience includes appearances in the District Court and High Court involving a range of contractual disputes, lease and property disputes, debt recovery, and judicial review proceedings. She is a skilled negotiator and enjoys helping clients to find the best solutions possible to resolve disputes quickly and cost effectively.
Outside of Govett Quilliam
Lauren is the founding member of the Taranaki branch of the Resource Management Law Association (and past president and secretary) and the honorary solicitor of the Friends of the Govett Brewster/Len Lye Centre and of Heritage Taranaki Incorporated. She is also a trustee on the Moturoa School Board of Trustees.
Lauren enjoys mountain biking, skiing and travel but generally spends most of her spare time as Mum to her young sons. She is a keen supporter of the arts and New Zealand music and a self-confessed "foodie".
Rebecca is currently away on parental leave.
Rebecca joined GQ in 2016, after working in the Resource Management team at a large corporate law firm in Auckland for two years. She is a Senior Associate and practices primarily in resource management, as well as in employment and civil litigation.
Rebecca has been involved in a range of resource management and local government matters throughout her time at GQ and her career, including:
• Assisting local authorities to draft and providing advice on district and regional plan provisions;
• Advising submitters on a number of district and regional plan reviews;
• Project management and strategic advice with respect to resource consent and plan change applications;
• Advising and representing parties affected by resource consent applications;
• Advising clients with respect to National Policy Statements, National Environmental Standards and National Planning Standards;
• Advising and representing clients with respect to marine consent applications under the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act;
• Appearances and advice with respect to Council hearings, Environment Court, High Court and Board of Inquiry processes;
• Assisting to draft and providing advice on local government policies and bylaws;
• Advising on all aspects of the Resource Management Act and associated legislation and regulations.
Rebecca also advises both employers and employees on employment law matters including individual employment agreements, workplace change processes, personal grievances, and represents clients in disciplinary meetings, mediations and hearings before the Employment Relations Authority.
Outside of Govett Quilliam
Outside of work, Rebecca is kept on her toes by her young daughter and a house full of animals. When she gets the chance (and the weather cooperates) Rebecca enjoys spending time at our glorious beaches, making the most of New Plymouth's thriving café scene or relaxing behind a good book.
She is a past and present Chair and co-chair of the RMLA (Resource Management Law Association) Taranaki Branch.
Contact Rebecca Eaton
Heather is a Senior Associate in our Resource Management, Litigation and Employment Teams.
Heather began her career at GQ as a graduate, before heading overseas to London, and eventually spending 6 years working in the Cayman Islands. Whilst in the Cayman Islands, Heather was most recently a Senior Associate at Appleby (Cayman Limited) where she was part of the Dispute Resolution Team, working on fund disputes, commercial litigation and a range of insolvency and restructuring matters.
Outside of Govett Quilliam
You will usually find Heather, her husband and two young sons at the beach, hiking or enjoying one of Taranaki’s many playgrounds.
Bayley joined GQ in 2023 and is a lawyer in our Litigation Team focusing primarily on resource management, civil litigation and Māori land law.
After kickstarting her career as a Research Assistant and Chief District Court Judge’s Clerk in Wellington, Bayley returned to her roots in the Taranaki region in 2018 and delved into general practice. This saw Bayley in the realms of family law, personal planning, commercial, property and other areas. As part of her general practice role, Bayley most regularly appeared in the Family Court, but she also represented clients in Māori Land Court, District Court, Tenancy Tribunal and Court of Appeal cases.
Bayley has also assisted with matters related to resource consent applications, private plan changes and district plan reviews, drafted submissions on central government legislation and assisted with legislative reform.
In joining our Litigation Team, Bayley shifted her focus to her key areas of interest – resource management and civil disputes. Her broad experience and strong research expertise assists Bayley with easily understanding and advising on different legal issues.
Outside of Govett Quilliam
Bayley is committed to making a positive impact on her community and preserving our local environment. She actively contributes to the Taranaki Kiwi Trust, where she has served on the board since 2020 and was appointed chairperson in 2023. In addition to her environmental governance work, Bayley frequently participates in local musical theatre productions, showcasing her passion for the arts.
Robyn joined Govett Quilliam in March 2022 as Legal Support in our Resource Management, Litigation, and Employment Teams.
Robyn has a strong background in Real Estate, having worked as a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson for over twelve years in the Taranaki Region. Robyn’s time in Real Estate has given her many skills she can utilise in her Legal Support Role with the Resource Management, Litigation, and Employment Teams at Govett Quiliam.
Outside of Govett Quilliam
Originally from Queenstown, Robyn moved to New Plymouth twenty years ago after travelling and living in various countries. When Robyn isn’t heading outdoors for some hiking, skiing, or snorkelling, you might find her cooking up a storm or enjoying a good book.
Get in touch
Examples of our work
New Plymouth District Council as part of their e-Plan Making Team on the development of the Council’s award winning draft New Plymouth District Plan. The proposed New Plymouth District Plan is the first plan in New Zealand to be drafted in an e-plan format.
First Gas in relation to the development of model network utilities provisions for District and Regional Plans with a national working group composed of a broad range of network utility operators, including electricity generation and distribution, roading, rail, telecommunications, gas and water services providers.
Fonterra Co-operative Group in relation to the successful renewal of discharge and water take consents at Fonterra’s Whareroa site.
Te Kahui O Taranaki Trust in relation to the development of Coastal Development Design Guidelines – Tiaki Tangaroa ki Uta Tangaroa ki Tai in the South Taranaki District Council.
Egmont Refuse and Recycling Limited
Egmont Refuse and Recycling Limited in relation to a non-complying consent application to relocate and expand its industrial recycling facility in Hawera and its subsequent successful Environment Court appeal.
Links Coastal Development Limited
Links Coastal Development Limited in relation to the successful application for subdivision consent to allow for the subdivision of the proposed Oceanside development, including a subsequent Environment Court appeal regarding the conditions of consent.
Tamarind Taranaki Limited
Tamarind Taranaki Limited in relation to the successful applications for marine consent and marine discharge consent for the drilling of up to five sidetrack development wells and discharges from a drilling rig offshore in the Tui field. These proceedings were the first to be heard by a Board of Inquiry following the amendments to the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012 in 2017.
Taranaki Regional Council
Taranaki Regional Council in relation to an Environment Court appeal on the proposed South Taranaki District Plan concerning air discharges from oil and gas facilities.